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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:14 AM
 
23 posts, read 43,766 times
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Hi there - we are considering a move to the Harrisburg/Hershey area. To give you some background, we considered moving there 6 years ago from Boston but instead chose Bethlehem, PA (my husband and I grew up in coal region of PA, so we are somewhat familiar with Harrisburg). We like Bethlehem for its focus on the arts and low cost of living. Now, some personal family issues have us considering a move closer to Harrisburg. I am somewhat familiar with Harrisburg, but don't know it well enough to really know the right place for me and my family. Some places I think we could like: New Cumberland, Hershey, Camp Hill.

We would like a neighborhood that has other families with school-aged kids. It would also be nice if this place had at least some transplants like us. We like living in town if there is a nice residential area where we can also have a yard/driveway, but are also open to a development if it is not too cookie-cutter. (we are not really into having acres of land to maintain)
We are Unitarians and Democrats, and while I do not expect to find a town that is made up of people just like me (nor would I want to), it would be nice to be able to find some people who share similar values.

When are you moving? Before the fall, preferably
Where are you coming from? Bethlehem, PA
Why are you moving? We are considering moving to be closer to family, primarily in Lewisberry. We also have family in Myerstown and further up 81, so proximity to 81 is somewhat important.
Where will you be working? My husband and I both work from home for companies based elsewhere. We both need to fly to our offices occasionally so proximity to Harrisburg airport is somewhat important.
Have you been here yet? Yes.

Will you buy or rent?
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? How much can you spend? A house - preferably no more than around $350k-ish - need space for home offices in addition to 3 beds

Are you married or single? Do you have children? Married with two kids (one about to enter kindergarten)
Do you prefer public or private schools? Public - I want it to be clear though that I am open-minded about what defines "a good school district," and it is not the single driving force for this decision.
Do you have pets? Yes
Do you want or need a yard? Yes
Are you keeping a car? Yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? A bit of both - right now, we live "in town" in Bethlehem so we can walk to the dollar store and six-pack shop, but it is a quiet side street with old turn-of-the-century homes.

What do you want to be closest to?
Work
Shopping
Basic services (supermarket, drugstore, etc.) X
Nightlife X - Prefer to have access to cultural scene - think theatre, concerts, festivals, nice restaurants, museums for the kids, but willing to drive a bit for that.
Train or subway stations

Do you want to live with people of a similar age, race, religion or sexual preference or do you prefer a diverse neighborhood? Prefer some diversity

Phillies, Pirates or Orioles? Phillies

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!

Last edited by CloseToHome85; 02-25-2019 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,915 posts, read 1,100,634 times
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Hello,

Harrisburg definitely is undergoing a bit of a renaissance, with many young professionals moving into the downtown and midtown portions of the city, and many creative types following with a growing art and food scene focused in midtown.

It is a lovely city, with great bones, and its potential is beginning to be realized.

Based on your criteria it sounds you value those amenities and therefore close proximity to the city of Harrisburg is important in this case.

Therefore I would recommend Camp Hill Boro. You are directly across the river from Harrisburg, it has a quaint walkable small town area, the school district is small and highly rated and has the flair I think you are seeking that is also found in Bethlehem for a suburban town.

The only downfall to Camp Hill, is the housing stock is older, but with your price point will be updated and the town itself is not diverse. But I think you will find having immediate access to the diversity of the city makes up for this.


New Cumberland would be my second recommendation, as it also shares the immediate access. But Camp Hill has more walkability.

Herhsey is a lovely town, with one of the top 20 districts in the state. Its downtown area is quaint. The only downfall is you are about 25 - 35 minutes to Harrisburg city, making it less accessible.

Lewisberry to Camp Hill is only about 15 - 20 minutes.

Lewisberry to Hershey is about 35 - 40 minutes.

Good luck. Camp Hill is a lovely town.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:59 PM
 
23 posts, read 43,766 times
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Thank you! This is so helpful. It is too bad I am not in a position to live in Harrisburg. Pre-kids I walked around midtown and Shipoke and thought it was such a lovely area. Being nearby would be nice though. What are your thoughts on Mechanicsburg?
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,915 posts, read 1,100,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CloseToHome85 View Post
Thank you! This is so helpful. It is too bad I am not in a position to live in Harrisburg. Pre-kids I walked around midtown and Shipoke and thought it was such a lovely area. Being nearby would be nice though. What are your thoughts on Mechanicsburg?
Mechanicsburg is not a bad area, one of the fastest growing areas in the region. Mechanicsburg boro area is not as desirable in terms of walkable amenities or as walkable. You could certainly get into a nice updated suburban home with your budget, but you definitely would have that suburban feel.

Mechanicsburg is also a bit further removed from Harrisburg and the thriving and growing creative scene.

Mechanicsburg covers a wide area, but typically is about 20 minutes from the city on average.

I love to use walkscore.com

Check out this address I pulled from a home on walkscore's website.

https://www.walkscore.com/score/2502...-hill-pa-17011

The great thing about Camp Hill Boro is because it is directly across the River from Harrisburg, it literally feels like an extension of Harrisburg city. You can get to Downtown/Midtown Harrisburg from Camp Hill in 10 minutes or less. Heck you can even jog there and back.

New Cumberland would be my 2nd recommendation.

Oh, also check out this website for Harrisburg growing creative scene that you value. Its a fantastic publication.

https://theburgnews.com/

My family currently lives in New Cumberland (I live in Southeast PA). And Camp Hill and New Cumberland are just so appealing because both boros are so close to all the activity in Harrisburg. Whenever I return home, I also make the 1.5 mile jog to the capital steps. Camp Hill feels more connected to the city than New Cumberland and for that reason I think you will really enjoy!

Last edited by rowhomecity; 02-28-2019 at 05:14 PM..
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:39 PM
 
23 posts, read 43,766 times
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Thanks for the details on Camp Hill Boro!! Hoping to visit Sunday if it doesn’t snow. If not sometime soon. Appreciate your guidance.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,915 posts, read 1,100,634 times
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Enjoy! Check out Market St. there is a handful of boutique shops, the library in Camp Hill is fantastic too! They are constructing a new mixed use building on Market St. with a new collection of shops and boutiques.

The Millworks (something I recommend visiting in Midtown Harrisburg) is building an outpost in Camp Hill Boro in a historic building, as they recognize its wonderful character.

Lots of urbanity is on the books to the boro. I feel given some of what you are looking for you will love Camp Hill!
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:10 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Here is the Millworks info and why Camp Hill is the place to live right now.

Millworks owner finalizes deal for Camp Hill tasting room | CPBJ
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,438 posts, read 70,435,739 times
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As an outlier I might also consider Elizabethtown (called “E-Town” by some locals).

It is technically in Lancaster County and is equidistant (25-30 minutes) from either Downtown Harrisburg or Downtown Lancaster. The public school district is good. It’s a college town with a quaint main drag. There are older “in-town” homes with character that are walkable to the main drag along with many newer developments/subdivisions closer to I-283 for an easier commute. It’s 20 minutes to the Harrisburg International Airport.

Don’t underestimate the appeal of being able to take the kids easily to fun attractions or events in either Harrisburg OR Lancaster. Lancaster is growing more rapidly than Harrisburg at the moment and has the region’s only Apple Store and Whole Foods, if those businesses are of any importance. Park City Center Mall in Lancaster blows any mall in Harrisburg (or York) out of the water. Lancaster also has a nice new Wegmans.

Elizabethtown is also 20 minutes from Hershey.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:38 AM
 
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Ohhh had not considered this. We are visiting Lancaster in a couple weeks so will be sure to visit Elizabethtown then. Is the school district ok?
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Elizabethtown is also a great recommendation! The downtown area is quaint.

You will have a bit more drive time overall between the 3 to access basic amenities, but it surely is worth a look!

The drive time to Elizabethtown to Harrisburg and Lancaster is closer to 30 minutes without traffic.

Lancaster is super quaint, I love it! You could also consider Lancaster. You will be a bit further from family but it is such a lovely area.
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